New York landscaper Garrett Magee shares the secret to a flourishing urban garden

The Backyard Envy star has designed gardens for Sies Marjan and Diane von Furstenberg – here’s what he’s learned from a decade in the concrete jungle

The Manscapers designed backyard in New York with plants and outdoor furniture
(Image credit: Dane Tashima)

When it comes to urban garden trends, you could do far worse than follow the advice of Garrett Magee. The celebrity landscaper and Bravo’s Backyard Envy star has designed city sanctuaries for a host of fashionable figures, including Sies Marjan and Diane von Furstenberg – whilst growing accustomed to garden quirks across the Big Apple

After ten years of growing greenery amid Manhattan’s buzz, Garrett Magee has mastered the art of city gardening – but what is his top tip for keeping these plants alive? 

In an exclusive interview with Livingetc, Garett shared discussed his urban gardening ideas, including his simple tip for keeping plants alive throughout the ever-extreme climates of a cityscape. 

The Manscapers designed backyard in New York with plants and outdoor furniture

(Image credit: Dane Tashima)

‘In the city, we have so many container gardens – I like to make sure all my pots and planters are raised on pot feet – which means you can put anything underneath your pot to raise them above the ground,’ Garrett explains.

But what makes this garden idea so effective, especially in a cityscape? ‘ It helps with drainage and – in the winter – it helps keep the pots off the floor and above the harsh winters that can be hard on the plant. Just raising them by one inch can help so much,’ he says. 

Plus, while raising your pots is among Garrett’s most simple secrets, he goes on to share the tried and tested products he uses to maintain plant health amid the buzz of the Empire State. 

The Manscapers designed backyard in New York with plants and outdoor furniture

(Image credit: Dane Tashima)

‘When living and growing in the city, you see such extreme types of weather environments. We create gardens on rooftops, terraces, and back yards, so it’s always very different. I start with good rich soil that is full of compost to make sure the plants get lots of nutrients,’ he explains. Garrett adds that his go-to choice is Miracle Grow Perfromace Organics All-Purpose container mix.

‘I also like to use Neem oil on a lot of my plants. If you have pests, you can use Neem oil. However, even if you don’t have pests but want to prevent any pests from coming into your garden, use Neem oil. We use it a lot to help the leaves and keep them looking shiny and nice, whether your plants are indoors or outdoors.’ 

Garrett McGee for Naked Juice

(Image credit: Naked Juice)

This is the small garden idea that will ensure your plants continue to thrive amid the cooler seasons – wherever you are. Plus, to help you make the most of your urban gardens, Garrett teamed up with Naked Juice to explore the benefits of edible gardens, in cityscapes and beyond. 

Megan Slack

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team.

Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US whilst studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site.

Megan currently lives in London, where she relocated from her hometown in Yorkshire. In her home, she experiments with interior design trends and draws inspiration from the home decor ideas she observes in her everyday work life. Her favorite pieces include her antique typewriter and her expansive collection of houseplants. When she isn’t writing, she is browsing London’s coffee shops and bookstores to add to her ever-growing library, taking over the open shelving in her apartment.